Mr. Wayne Herbert Cannon, a popular disc jockey and dedicated member of the Ocean City, Maryland community, passed away on April 19, 2021, at Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin after a brief battle with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. He was 72.
Born in Salisbury and raised in Delmar, Wayne was the son of the late Herbert Carl Cannon and Georgia Lee Cannon.
He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Christie Cannon; two children, Amanda R. Paige and her husband, John Kernan of Baltimore, and Jeffrey R. Cannon of North Beach, Maryland; and two grandchildren, Jameson R. Cannon and Aubrey N. Dillon.
Also surviving are his brother, R. Alan Cannon of Delmar, Maryland; sister, Susanne C. Tewey and her husband, Frank of Annapolis; in-laws, Eric and Pamela Lego of Hagerstown, numerous nephews and one niece.
Mr. Cannon was raised in Delmar, Maryland. He received a professional degree from the Career Academy of Broadcasting in Washington, D.C. in 1968.
He then served as a medic in the Army, stationed in Germany, from 1969 to 1972. Upon returning to the states, he moved to Ocean City and began his career in radio, which in time led him to become the “voice” of Ocean City.
Through the years he worked for WETT AM/WWTR FM “96 Rock” and WSEA AM/WZBH FM, before joining WGMD FM in 1993, where he remained for 20 years before retiring from radio in 2013.
Wayne also served as WBAL Baltimore’s “Man in the Sand,” providing weekly insights on the goings-on in Ocean City for Baltimore residents looking to head “down the ocean” for a week at the beach.
Simultaneous with his radio career, for 20 years Mr. Cannon produced and hosted the cable access show “This Week in Ocean City,” which provided an interview forum for “movers and shakers” of the Eastern Shore community.
Known locally as the “Mayor of West Ocean City,” he was the Master of Ceremonies for the Berlin Christmas parade, Ocean City St. Patrick’s Day parade, Ocean City Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, Atlantic General Hospital Penguin Swim, local Epilepsy Telethon, and numerous other local events.
He was Ocean City Citizen of the Year in 2004, past president of the Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Ocean City Paramedics Foundation, a member of the Ocean City Lions Club, where he mentored the Leo Club based at Stephen Decatur High School, and member and past trustee of the First Presbyterian Church in Ocean City, to name a few.
Wayne’s many honorifics include the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of the Year” award in 2004, the Grant-a-Wish Foundation’s “Humanitarian of the Year” award in 1996, a commendation from the State of Delaware House of Representatives for “Outstanding Public Service through Broadcasting” in 1996, the Ocean City Elks Lodge “Citizen of the Year” award in 1998, and the Ocean City Lions Club Melvin Jones Fellow Award for Dedicated Humanitarian Services – the highest award offered by the Lions Club International.
It will be hard to fill the shoes of this man who willingly donated so much of his time and energy to the town and surrounding areas that he loved.
A true family man, Wayne’s love of and devotion to his family surpassed even his dedication to Ocean City. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.
In tribute to Wayne’s legacy of service, mentorship, and dedication to the craft of radio, his family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Radio, Television, and Digital News Association’s Scholarship and Fellowship program, either online at https://rtdna.networkforgood.com/projects/129443-in-memory-of-wayne-cannon or mailed to:RTDNA, Attn: Scholarships and Fellowships, The National Press Building 529 14th Street, NW, Suite 1240, Washington, D.C. 20045
Alternatively, in honor of the many furry friends who enhanced Wayne’s life, donations can be made to the Worcester County Humane Society, either online at worcestercountyhumanesociety.org or mailed to: Worcester County Humane Society, in memory of Wayne Cannon, P.O. Box 48 Berlin, Maryland 21811.
A celebration of life will be held on May 8, 2021 at 2 p.m. at Holy Savior Catholic Church on 17th Street in Ocean City. Social distancing protocols will be in place.
A live stream of the service will be available online on the Holy Savior Facebook page. Visitation will be held the evening prior, May 7, at Burbage Funeral Home in Berlin from 5-7 p.m. Letters of condolence may be sent via: www.burbagefuneralhome.com.